Archive Page

Chohan, Thorpe & Woodward Take Buffalo’s

All year long, one pocket aficionados look forward to the biggest tournament of the year!

Held in Jefferson, LA, a suburb of New Orleans, players and fans streamed into James Leone’s Buffalo’s on Bloomfield for the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic. Local sponsors for this year’s event – Buffalo’s, PoolActionTV, Lomax Custom Cues, Joseph P. Long, Aramith, ART CO, Diamond Billiards and Fort Worth Billiards – added a total of $26,000! $20,000 was added to the Pro One Pocket, $5,000 to the Open Nine Ball and $1,000 to the One Ball One Pocket.

Some of the best one pocket players came to play including Buffalo’s house pro, defending champ and current US Open One Pocket and Midwest Open One Pocket champ Tony Chohan.  He was joined by current Scotty Townsend Memorial One Pocket champ Alex Pagulayan, current Iron City One Pocket champ Josh Roberts, this year’s Derby City One Pocket and Master of the Table Fedor Gorst, last week’s Big Tyme Classic One Pocket Champ Robert Frost and last year’s One Ball One Pocket king John Morra. 

Billy Thorpe and Robbie Langford

Wednesday night kicked off with the 32 player One Ball One Pocket tournament. Posting a $200 entry fee, the format was single elimination with races to four. Including the players auction, there was a total purse of $21,430! 

Two-time Derby City Classic One Pocket champion, Billy Thorpe, plowed through the field on his way to the finals leaving Shane Winters, Hunter White, Josh Roberts and John Morra in his wake. The always tough Robbie Langford beat Kenny Nguyen, Mike DeLawder, Ike Runnels and Evan Lunda to get there. The final match was all Billy as he smoked Robbie 4-0 to claim the title. Congratulations, Billy! Good tournament, Robbie! 

The following evening, the $2,000 entry fee double elimination one pocket event began with a rousing player auction and was followed by the players meeting and draw. Twenty eight players racing to five and competing for a record $228,600 total purse! WOW!!!

Play began with Corey Deuel edging out Justin Hall 5-4 while Fedor Gorst skunked Sky Woodward 5-0. Ike Runnels had Danny Smith down 4-0 but ended up losing the match 5-4! Josh Roberts outmoved Roberto Gomez 5-1 and Billy Thorpe escaped with a 5-4 win over Robert Frost as did Scott Frost over Alex Calderon by the same score. Chip Compton got off to a great start as he defeated Warren Kiamco 5-1. 

Gorst won over Deuel 5-4, Evan Lunda spanked Earl Strickland 5-0 and Chohan beat Smith 5-3. Jeremy Seaman skunked Omar Al Shaheen 5-0 and Thorpe dusted Compton 5-2. Frost had Alex Pagulayan 3-0 and watched his opponent win five in a row to claim the match.

Fedor and Evan went down to the wire with Gorst claiming the win while Tony breezed past Jeremy 5-0. Billy started out strong against the Lion but he went down 5-2.

Down to four on the winners side, Chohan battled Gorst to a 5-3 win while Roberts kept Pagulayan off the board with a 5-0 score. Tony and Josh moved to the hot seat match where Chohan sent Roberts west to await an opponent – score 5-1.

After losing to Gorst in the third round, Lunda defeated Mike DeLawder 5-1 and Compton 5-3. Moving into his match with Pagulayan, he hung tough but Alex pulled out the win 5-4. 

Calderon had a tougher road. After losing his first match, he beat Deuel 5-1, Strickland 5-2, Hunter White 5-4 and Thorpe 5-3. He went down to the case game with Gorst but was eliminated 5-4.

This set up the match between Fedor and Alex Pagulayan. A man on a mission, he defeated Gorst 5-1 and then Josh Roberts 5-2. And to the finals he went!!!

Since this was true double elimination, Alex would have to beat Tony Chohan both sets to claim the title. With tens of thousands of dollars on the line, both players put their heads down and played their hearts out. 

Alex won the first two games and then Tony won three in a row. Tied again at 4-4, you could’ve heard a pin drop in the arena. Nerves got them both as they both missed makeable balls but this one is finally in the books! Tony Chohan successfully defended his title!

Alex Pagulayan and Tony Chohan

Congratulations, Tony! Great tournament, Alex! 

While the Pro One Pocket was in progress, 115 players filled the house on Saturday night to play in the Open Nine Ball event. Familiar faces such as defending champ Warren Kiamco, Sky Woodward, Roberto Gomez, Corey Deuel, Omar Al Shaheen, Justin Hall, Chip Compton, Charlie Bryant, Chris Reinhold, James Baraks, Richie Richeson, Robb Saez, Shane Winters, Jeremy Seaman, Sergio Rivas, Mike DeLawder, Justin Espinosa, Joey Aguzin, Derek Fontenet, Robert Frost and Kristina Tkach joined the fray.

Played on seven foot Diamonds, players paid $100 to play in this double elimination portion of the event. The format was rack your own, alternate breaks with races to seven until down to the final sixteen players. At that point, it was single elimination – races to nine. 

Omar Al Shaheen and Jeremy Seaman tied for third place. James Baraks moved into the finals to face Sky Woodward. 

The finals were neck and neck until the very end! Sky won the match 9-8!!! Congratulations, Sky!! Good tournament, James!

It was a helluva week! Great pool everywhere you looked! Once again, PoolActionTV would like to thank James Leone and his staff for going the extra mile as they took care of all the players and fans. 

We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing a great job running the show – always with a smile on his face!

We’d also like to thank our expert commentators – Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Billy Incardona, John Henderson, Josh Roberts and Ray Hansen! Can’t get any better than this crew!

Last but not least, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors. They include ART CO, JB Cases, CR’s Sports Bar, Hanshew Jump Cues, EnviroAssessments, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore.

Our next stop is Leisure Time Billiards & Sports Bar in East Moline, IL for the $16,000 added Bar Box Classic featuring three divisions – Ten Ball, Eight Ball and One Pocket. Dates are June 1st-5th – hope to see you there!

Go to thread

Orcollo and Gomez repeat as winner and runner-up at 29th Houston Open

(l to r): Dennis Orcollo, Legends co-owner and tournament director Mindy Cohen & Roberto Gomez

Dennis Orcollo and Roberto Gomez repeated their performance at the 28th Houston Open by finishing as winner and runner-up at the 29th Houston Open, held this past weekend (Sept. 7-8). Gomez decided to spice things up this year. Instead of advancing to a winners’ side semifinal, being sent to the loss side (by Francisco Bustamante), winning three there and challenging Orcollo in the finals as he did last year, Gomez lost his second match to Orcollo 9-2 and then proceeded to win 11 on the loss side to meet Orcollo in the finals. That part of their 2018 meeting stayed the same, albeit with Gomez chalking up a few less racks (9-6 in 2018, 9-2 in 2019). The $7,500-added event drew 93 entrants to Legends Billiards in League City, TX.
 
Orcollo was awarded an opening round bye and sent Gomez on his loss-side journey in the second round, before navigating his way through two straight double hill wins over Sajal Ghimire and Josh Roberts. He then defeated John Morra 9-3 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against what Legends Billiards co-owner and tournament director Mindy Cohen called a “blast from the past,” an older Filippino player, Edgar Acaba.
 
Robb Saez, in the meantime, who’d finished in the tie for 7th place last year, when defeated by Warren Kiamco, followed an opening round bye with victories over Ray Hansen, Manny Chau, Jerry Alvarez and Leon Contreras, before squaring off in the other winners’ side semifinal against Alex Calderon.
 
Orcollo downed fellow countryman Acaba 9-5 and in the hot seat match faced Saez, who’d sent Calderon west 9-6. Orcollo then sent Saez off to the semifinals 9-4 and waited in the hot seat for Gomez to finish his somewhat epic loss-side journey.
 
With six notches on his loss-side belt, Gomez defeated Leon Contreras 7-1 and chalked up a surprising strong victory against Josh Roberts 7-3 to draw Acaba in his first loss-side match. Calderon drew John Morra, who’d defeated Brian Sanders 7-3 and Jerry Alvarez 7-5 to reach him.
 
Gomez and Calderon advanced to the quarterfinals on the heels of identical 7-5 victories over Acaba and Morra, respectively. And then, building momentum, Gomez chalked up loss-side win #10, eliminating Calderon 7-4.
 
Gomez reduced his opponents’ number of racks by an additional one, as he spoiled Saez’ bid for a rematch against Orcollo 7-3 in the semifinals. In a ‘déjà vu all over again’ scenario, Gomez and Orcollo greeted each other as finalists at the Houston Open for the second straight year.
 
Second verse, same as the first. Gomez needed to defeat Orcollo twice. He only chalked up two racks in the first set, eliminating the need for a second. Orcollo walked away with his second straight Houston Open title.
 
In addition to paying out the top 24 finishers in the event, the Houston Open paid $150 to the top female finisher in the event, which proved to be three women who tied for the prize. They were all from the same family and split the money – Madonna Springs, Gayla Toms and Shyenne Toms (age 12).
 
Co-owners of Legend Billiards and tournament directors Mindy Cohen and Ted Dean thanked their entire staff for their cooperation and assistance during the weekend run of the tournament, as well as Jerry Olivier Cues for contributing the $1,200 cue that got raffled and was won by Elizabeth Sturges. Cohen and Dean also thanked Ray Hansen and his entire PoolActionTV staff for streaming selected matches of the event all weekend.

Woodward wins 11 on the loss side, double dips Roberts in finals of 46th Annual Texas Open

Skyler Woodward (Erwin Dionisio)

There’s nothing that’ll let the air out of a competitive pool balloon faster than an early loss in a tournament with a lot of entrants. In a 128-entrant bracket, for example, a loss in the second round will almost double the number of matches you have to play to claim the event’s title. The winner and runner-up in such an event will have been there the same amount of time, but one of them will have played a lot more pool.
 
At the $4,000-added, Open 9-Ball Division of the 46th Annual Texas Open, held over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 28-Sept 2) that drew 128 entrants to Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX, Josh Roberts played seven matches to claim the hot seat. He did not win the eighth match he needed to claim the title. Sky Woodward, though, patched up the ‘balloon’ that had burst in the second round, and ended up playing 15 matches; two on the winners’ side, 11 on the loss side and two in the true double elimination final that earned him the event title.
 
It was a very busy weekend in Round Rock. In addition to the Open 9-Ball Tournament, there was a 9-ball mini tournament (Wednesday night), a Jack ‘N Jill Scotch Doubles tournament that drew 16 teams (Thursday night), a Banks Ring Game (Friday night, in conjunction with the start of the Open 9-Ball), and a Women’s Open event (started Saturday night; separate story) that drew 32. It should be noted that the Jack N’ Jill Scotch Doubles title was shared by two teams; Co-tournament director James Davis, Sr. and long-time doubles partner Jennifer Kraber and a team made up of the Open winner (Woodward) and the Women’s event winner (Ming Ng).
 
Woodward’s winning campaign in the Open event opened on a promising note with a shutout over Donald Rock, but ran right into a double hill match against Alex Calderon, which shifted Woodward’s work to the loss side of the bracket. Roberts, in the meantime, worked his way through his first four opponents (Steven Butler, Jeremy Diggs, Tommy Vega and Ryan Hsu) by an aggregate score of 36-6. And then, like Woodward, Roberts ran into Alex Calderon, who battled Roberts to a deciding 17th game. Roberts dropped the final ball and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Justin Espinosa.
 
Meanwhile, John Gabriel, who’d defeated Kenneth Greer, Tommy Sanders, Al Mason and survived a double hill battle against Robb Saez, downed Ernesto Bayaua in a winners’ side quarterfinal to draw Kevin Guimond in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Roberts got into the hot seat match with a 9-3 win over Espinosa. Gabriel joined him after sending Guimond to the loss side 9-6. Roberts chalked up what proved to be his last match win with a 9-3 victory over Gabriel and waited in the hot seat for Woodward to finish his 11-match, loss-side winning streak.
 
It was Justin Espinosa who drew Woodward on the loss side. At that point, Woodward had already won eight of his 11 loss-side matches, including, most recently, victories over Bayaua and Hsu, both 9-3. Kevin Guimond drew Sean Black, who was on a loss-side run comparable to  Woodward’s. Black had lost his opening round match and embarked on a nine-match winning streak that eventually earned him the second-most wins in the event. He’d most recently eliminated Steve Sheppard 9-5 and spoiled any hopes Woodward was entertaining about a rematch against Calderon, by defeating Calderon, double hill.
 
Black’s loss-side streak came to an end when Guimond eliminated him 9-6. Woodward’s continued with his third straight 9-3 win, this one over Espinosa to advance to the quarterfinals.
 
Woodward chalked up two more 9-3 wins to earn a shot at Roberts in the hot seat. He downed Guimond in the quarterfinals and Gabriel in the semifinals. He chalked up his 6th 9-3 win in the opening set of the true double elimination final. He broke the pattern and won the second set 9=7 to claim the event title.
 
Co-tour directors James Davis, Sr. and John Palmore thanked Sue and John Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s Billiards staff, as well as Sleep Inn, Mints Amusement, and James Hanshew. They also acknowledged Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew for the live stream of the event throughout the long weekend.

Pagulayan takes two at the 5th Annual Sparkle City Shootout in Spartanburg, SC

Alex Pagulayan (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

In the $8,000-added 10-Ball event of the 5th Annual Sparkle City Shootout, Alex Pagulayan went undefeated through a field of 96, including final back-to-back victories over Warren Kiamco, Dennis Orcollo and Carlos Biado to claim the title. In the $2,000-added, single elimination One Pocket event with 12 players, he downed Jonathan (Hennessee from Tennessee) Pinegar, Francisco Bustamante and Danny Smith to claim that event title. Held on the very long weekend of Oct. 30-Nov. 4, both events were hosted by Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.
 
The strength of the pool-star-studded 10-ball field of 96 could be found in a couple of the players who were eliminated in the first money round (13th-16th); Tony Chohan and JT Ringgold. In the following round (9th-12th), Loree Jon Hasson, Zoren James Aranas, Skyler Woodward and a local player Chase Smith were eliminated.
 
Meanwhile, Pagulayan had worked his way through the field to a winners’ side semifinal match against Kiamco, while Orcollo squared off against Biado. Pagulayan advanced to the hot seat match and downed Orcollo to claim it.
 
On the loss side, Kiamco drew Francisco Bustamante, who’d eliminated Woodward and “The Scorpion” Johnny Archer to reach him. Biado picked up Mark Bosch, who’d eliminated Hasson and defeated Robb Saez.
 
Biado and Bustamante advanced to the quarterfinals, where Biado prevailed. He went on to down Orcollo in the semifinals, but couldn’t unseat Pagulayan from the hot seat.
 
Pagulayan wins first of two with three-win march in One Pocket event
 
Once Kiamco, John Morra, Can Salim and J Bird were eliminated from the opening round of One Pocket play (Danny Smith, Josh Roberts, Pagulayan and Tony Chohan were awarded byes), the event moved immediately into its quarterfinal matches.
 
Orcollo and Smith matched up, as did Roberts and Brandon Shuff. Pinegar and Pagulayan squared off, with Bustamante and Chohan rounding out the field of quarterfinalists. Moving into the semifinals, Smith defeated Orcollo, Roberts eliminated Shuff, Pagulayan downed Pinegar and Bustamante knocked out Chohan.
 
Smith moved into the finals with a victory over Roberts. Pagulayan joined him after eliminating Bustamante. Pagulayan claimed the first of his two weekend undefeated titles with a victory over Smith in the finals.
 

Orcollo chalks up fifth 2018 title, going undefeated at 28th Annual Houston 9-Ball Open

Ted Dean, Francisco Bustamante, Dennis Orcollo and Robert Gomez

With the exception of one or two opponents that he faced, Dennis Orcollo wasn’t exactly mowin’ ‘em down at the 28th Annual Houston 9-Ball Open, held on the weekend of Sept. 7-9. In his last five matches, he did chalk up a shutout, and a 9-2 win, but he also had to contend with two opponents who chalked up six against him and one who managed to get seven.  Slow, but steady wins the race, said the tortoise, and along with earlier victories, it all added up to Orcollo’s fifth 2018 championship title. The $7,500-added Houston 9-Ball Open drew 124 entrants to Legends Billiards in League City, TX.
 
Once past the shutout over Steve Lechner and the 9-6 win over Warren Kiamco, Orcollo found himself in a winners’ side semifinal match against Amar Kang. Francisco Bustamante, in the meantime, who, in the process of competing in his last five matches, got by Tony Chohan 9-7, and Andy Jethwa 9-3, arrived at his winners’ side semifinal match against the eventual runner-up, Roberto Gomez.
 
Orcollo downed Kang 9-2. Bustamante was busy dealing with Gomez, who chalked up six, but moved to the loss side when Bustamante got his nine. Orcollo claimed the hot seat over Bustamante 9-7 and waited on the return of Gomez.
 
Moving to the west bracket, Gomez picked up Kiamco, who, following his defeat at the hands of Orcollo, had downed Casper Matikainen 7-3 and Robb Saez 7-5. Kang drew Kevin Guimond, who’d been defeated on the winners’ side by Gomez, and then, won two straight double hill matches against Omar Alshaheen and Lechner.
 
With identical 7-5 scores, the Gs (Guimond and Gomez) advanced to the quarterfinals over the Ks (Kang and Kiamco). Gomez took the quarterfinal match against Guimond 7-2, to earn himself a re-match against Bustamante. Gomez took that semifinal re-match 7-5 and got a shot at Orcollo in the hot seat.
 
For all the good it did him. Orcollo completed his undefeated run through the field with a 9-6 win, pocketing $4K for his work and the Houston Open 9-Ball title.

Tokoph Takes White Diamonds

Jason Evans and Tommy Tokoph (Photo courtesy of Poolaction.tv)

Tournament action in the southeast this weekend was in Lafayette, LA – Chris Miller’s 9 Ball Extravaganza – held at White Diamond Billiards.
 
The action kicked off with on Friday night with a 9 ball mini – $20 entry, race to 3. Fifty seven players threw in their double sawbucks and several hours later it was down to the final four. Bubba Brock was fourth, Billy Pinion got third while finalists Josh Roberts & Danny Smith battled it out for top honors. Josh prevailed with Danny settling for second spot.
 
Showing up bright and early Saturday morning, 103 players paid a $40 entry for the race to seven, alternate break, double elimination bar box event. After the draw, a players meeting was held. Always a well-attended feature of this event, The Chris Miller Show, saw Danny Smith emerge as blind bid in the Calcutta.
 
Well-known names included John Morra, Danny Smith, Josh Roberts, Alex Calderon, Tony Chohan, Tommy Tokoph, Cliff Joyner and Robb Saez. Regional favorites included Daniel McKinney, Tommy Sanders, Joey Aguzin, Jason Evans, Zack Sanderson and Denis Strickland.
 
First round action saw Saez send Morra west for the long trek back to the winner’s circle. Second round saw Chris Miller do the same to Roberts and little by little, the field narrowed.
 
Hot seat action saw Chohan duke it out with Tokoph. Tommy’s been playing very steady the last few events and this time it finally paid off as he sent Tony to wait for an opponent on the one loss side.
 
Jason Evans defeated Jason LaFleur leaving him in fourth place while Chohan had to settle for third place as Jason Evans moved on to face Tommy in the finals.
 
The final match was close but when the smoke cleared, it was Tokoph in the winners circle. Congratulations, Tommy!!! Great event, Jason!!!
 
Many thanks to owner Chris Miller and his staff for pulling out all the stops to make everyone feel at home while Tournament Director Ashley Klein kept things running smoothly. Tournament sponsors included Gem Cues, Enviroassessments.com and Richard (“Pelican”) Lowell of Rick’s Gun & Pawn of Foley and Loxley, AL. Thank you to all for another great event.
 
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank our sponsors and fans for another fantastic event! Our sponsors include Lomax Custom Cues, Kamui, John Barton of JB Cases, GoPlayPool.com, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Hanshew Custom Cues, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS. Thanks for your support!
 
Our next stop is Arena Billiards in West Monroe, LA for the Scotty Townsend Memorial Tournament. The event is this coming up soon – March16th-23rd. Hope to see you there!!!

Woodward Makes It Four in Shreveport

Alex Calderon and Skyler Woodward (Photo courtesy of PoolAction.tv)

One hundred twenty eight players made the trek to Shreveport, LA to play in this year’s Sidepocket Open Nine Ball Championship. A full field of 128 players including well-known names like three-time and defending champ Skyler Woodward, Roberto Gomez, Robb Saez, Texas Open 10 Ball runner-up Kenny Loftis, Alex Calderon, Gary Abood, Devin Poteet, Ernesto Bayaua and Kevin Guimond put up their $75 entry fee to play in the race to 7, alternate break bar box event.
 
The event kicked off on Friday with the players meeting and draw followed by a players auction. After that, twenty players put up their hundred bucks for a ring 9 ball game. When the smoke cleared, there were two men standing – Roberto Gomez and Sky Woodward. Sky took it down…
 
Owner Roger Lites, along with tournament sponsors OB Digicue, Ballistic Billiards and Steve Wells of Action/27, treated both players and fans to a great event. Tournament Director Jeff Sullivan (“Sully”) and his able assistant, Ileana Ford, kept things running smoothly.
 
After plenty of action, Sunday night whittled down to fourth place finisher Robb Saez while Kevin Guimond came in third. Kelly Isaac took down last lady money.
 
Woodward, looking to claim his fourth Sidepocket Open title, needed to beat the undefeated Alex Calderon twice. Sky won the first set in a squeaker, 7-6. The second set started out neck and neck until Sky pulled away away and reached the hill first – 6-4. Alex was not about to give up easily as he went on to tie it at six apiece. One game for it all & Alex was breaking!
 
Alex made two balls on the break but was faced with no easy shot on the one with a two-nine combination along the side rail. He attempted to bank the one but sold out leaving Sky with a medium-tough shot on the one and a medium-tough shot on the combo. The fans sure got their money’s worth as Sky pocketed the case nine to claim his fourth consecutive title! Congratulations, Sky! Good tournament, Alex!
 
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank our sponsors and fans for another fantastic event! Our sponsors include Diamond Billiard Tables, Lomax Custom Cues, Kamui, John Barton of JB Cases, GoPlayPool.com, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Hanshew Custom Cues, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS. Thanks for your support!
 
Our next event is the much anticipated Durbin Cup to be held on March 3rd in Sullivan, IL. Hope to see you there!!!

Chinakhov takes two out of three over Loftis to win 4th Annual Texas Open 10-Ball Championships

Ruslan Chinakhov (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Since January 1 of this year, Russia’s Ruslan Chinakhov has (according to available records here at AZBilliards) earned $247.11 per day shooting pool (not including any Calcutta earnings), which would put him on track to reported earnings of $90,197.11 by December 31, almost triple what he’s reportedly earned in any year since 2007. Chinakhov is reportedly back home in Moscow, after a blistering hot month-and-a-half here in the US of A. Following an eight-man shared victory at the Derby City’s 14:1 Challenge (and other payouts from multiple events), a successful one-on-one, 10-ball challenge versus Oscar Dominguez and a victory in the Virginia State 10-Ball Championships, Chinakhov flew to Round Rock, TX, where, on the long weekend of February 15-18, he chalked up a victory on the 4th Annual Texas Open 10-Ball Championships. Chinakhov went won eight of his nine matches in Texas, downing Kenny Loftis in the hot seat match, losing the opening set of a true double elimination final to Loftis, and then taking the second set to claim the event title. The $4,000-added event drew 128 entrants to Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock.
 
In addition to a Jack & Jill Scotch Doubles Tournament, an Open Banks Rails Game, an Open 10-Ball Tourney (all on Thursday, February 15), and two (Open and Ladies) Ring Games on Friday, the annual event also featured a $1,000-added Ladies 10-Ball tournament, which drew 32 entrants and saw Jennifer Kraber go undefeated through the field to claim that event title (separate story).
 
Though both of the previous two Texas Open 10-Ball Championships were in attendance at this year’s event, neither figured into Chinakhov’s victory. Those two previous champions, Manny Chau (2017) and Skyler Woodward (2016) were shut out in a winners’ side match (Chau by James Dabel, Woodward by Loftis) and faced each other in the seventh, loss-side round (determining the four-way tie for 13th). Woodward advanced with a shutout over Chau, and then, three rounds later, ran into Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, who defeated him in a double hill match (any bets that “Hillbilly” had himself a nice growl/grin/handshake for the ‘young whippersnapper’ Woodward at the end of that match?).
 
Though Chinakhov earned the headline for this event, it should be noted that runner-up Kenny Loftis was the surprise competitor. Loftis, in all of his (reported) pool-playing career since 2011, has earned as much as Chinakhov is projected to make (see above) in the next six-and-a-half days. The surprise commenced with his winners’ side shutout over Sky Woodward, continued with a subsequent, double hill win over “Hillbilly,” and reached its peak when he defeated Chinakhov in the opening set of the true double elimination final.
 
“He certainly was the surprise of the weekend,” said Skinny Bob’ Billiards’ owner, John Cielo. “He’s been consistent finishing in the money in these annual 9-ball and 10-ball events, but he’d never made the top eight before.
 
“He played outstanding,” Cielo added.
 
Through his first 43 games against five opponents (Rich Anglin, Pat Castro, Ray Lopez, Shane Manaole and Alex Calderon), Chinakhov gave up a total of eight racks. Half of those were surrendered in his winners’ side quarterfinal against Calderon, which set him up to face Ronnie Alcano in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Loftis, in the meantime, who’d given up 11 racks through his first 46 games against Charlie Morra, Leon Contreras, Jason Harkrider, Sky Woodward (the shutout) and Ruben Bautista, squared off against Bryant in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Loftis and Bryant fought their double hill battle, which advanced Loftis to the hot seat. Chinakhov joined him after shutting out Alcano. In their first of three, Chinakhov moved into the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Loftis.
 
On the loss side, “Hillbilly” picked up Woodward, who was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak that included victories over Robb Saez 7-3, and Roberto Gomez 7-4. Alcano drew Ruben Bautista, who’d defeated Jeffrey Luna 7-5 and eliminated the ever-dangerous Jeremy Jones in a double hill match.
 
Bryant chalked up his double hill win over Woodward, and was joined in the quarterfinal match by Alcano, who’d defeated Bautista 7-3. Alcano then ended Bryant’s bid 7-3, before himself being eliminated, by Loftis in the semifinals 7-5.
 
One has to imagine that the results of the first double-elimination set of the finals came as a surprise to both Chinakhov and Loftis; Chinakhov, because of how things had been going for him since 2017 had turned into 2018, and Loftis because of how things had been going for him since he started showing up on regional tour payout lists here at AZBilliards seven years ago. Loftis took that opening set 7-5.
 
In the second set, Chinakhov regained control. He gave up only two racks to Loftis in that second set and claimed the event title.
 
“He impressed me,” said tour director James Davis, Sr. of Chinakhov’s performance, “and I’m not easily impressed.”
 
“He’s tall,” Davis added, “and has the most powerful break I have ever seen. He makes every shot look so simple, just an amazing player.”
 

Derby City Day Five – Corey Wins Banks, One Pocket Field Dwindles and Dennis Runs 227

Corey Deuel keeps his eye on the ball – Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
471 players vie for $10,000. Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack
 
Today, there were 8:
 
Corey Deuel proved invincible! Unbeaten, he strolled thru the Banks brackets in indomitable style. As 2013 DCC Banks Champion, he desperately wanted another title. “I feel that Bank Pool has always eluded me. In the last five years, my best finish was 7th.”
 
He’d worked hard to improve. Humbly, he’d asked other players about their technique. He admitted, he’d learned a lot. After all, he’d just dueled 14 rounds that had included contending with past Champions John Brumback and Francisco Bustamante. His confidence continuing to grow, he had beaten them back to back. “That’s when I felt I had a chance to win it.”
 
Corey had begun the day by bruising Brumback by sending him to the buy-back booth.
 
John’s morning had been a marred by bad preparation. “I hadn’t eaten properly.” he confessed, “My hands were shakin’ so bad. Saltines just don’t cut it!” 
 
Shaw opened his day by sending Shane to buy back but it was short-lived as Brumback, then fighting for his life, administered Van Boening’s death blow.
 
Justin Bergman, who was originally given his first loss by Fedor Gorst, drew him again. “That guy can really play.” Justin asserted. “I wish I shot that good when I was 17.”
 
Bergman had managed the first game in their match. In game 2, they both needed one ball. Bergman continued, “And I hung it. He won that one then broke and ran out and, I’m down 1-2.” In their 4th game, the consensus was that better banking skills can beat superior strategy. “I got cautious and lost my aggressive attitude. I decided to out-move him–that, I know I can do. But, he just banks so good.”
 
Later, interestingly, it was Troy Jones who delivered Fedor’s final loss: He was last seen stalking the one-pocket matches. That, he admitted, is where he also needs to gain some strategy.
 
Troy then ran afoul of Shaw, Bustey, who had ousted Woodward earlier, couldn’t catch the cagey and consistent Corey. He, too, was sent to concentrate on one pocket.
 
And then, there were 3. In the Accu-Stats’ TV Arena, Corey was first pitted against 2017 finalist Jayson Shaw. Brumback had drawn the bye.
 
Corey was not intimidated. His quiet confidence reinforced by those big, aforementioned, wins over Brumback, a 3-time DCC Bank Pool Champion and 2017 title holder Fransisco Bustamante.
 
He won the first game 5 balls-2. At 4-4 in the 2nd game, Shaw, shockingly, scratched. With ball in hand in the kitchen, Corey, calmly, rolled it off the short rail and into the corner. 2-0.
 
Game 3 opened with Corey breaking and running a couple and Jayson firing a few right back at him.
 
Deuel didn’t falter even when, seemingly, safely stuck up behind the 6, rolled it off the long rail to drop gently into the corner.
 
One ball later, he had earned the right to do battle with Brumback. Up 2-1, Corey had to fade John’s four ball onslaught which tied the match, 2-2.
 
Always aggressive, never denying the opportunity to bank rather than duck, they both needed a couple. Corey was on the hill first and fired cross side. It hit the knuckle. Brumback sighed in relief. With 3 balls lined up on the spot, he attempted a cross side. It landed long and left opportunity.
 
Corey’s nerve held steadfast as he fired in the final orb.
 
Interestingly, in 2013 his jubilation had him jumping thru the roof. Today his knees gave way as he sank to rest on the table,
 
His face filled with joy as he announced, “It feels really satisfying to win, again, today.” He’s also $10,000 richer!
 
ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
393 entrants have now been depleted to 68.
 
Some big-name upsets of note: Sky Woodward was gone by the third round. “I’ve been firing ‘em in all weekend and now I’m slow rolling balls, choking up on my stroke, switching back and forth ‘cause I’m still in the Banks.”
 
Interestingly enough, he was originally enrolled in the BIG Foot and withdrew to concentrate on his bank game figuring that it would also help in the One Pocket.
 
Immonen is now gone, eliminated by Dee Adkins and Robb Saez.
 
Oklahoma’s big-money, action player Chip Compton ran afoul of Daulton in the 4th round and Brumback in the 5th.
 
Cliff Joyner was taken to the buy-back booth by Tommy Tokoph and, later on, eliminated in the match of the day with Scott Frost.
 
At 2-2, Joyner was ahead 7 balls-1. Jacked up on the rail Scott, aggressive as ever, fired in a combo the length of the table…and ran out! Cliff fell off the hill!
 
In his match with Joshua Filler, it looked like Gorst was applying his knowledgable 14.1. pattern play. He strung multiple ball runs together, so quickly, that the match was over in 30 minutes. Now Josh had the time to hone in on some one-pocket.
 
The record of Gorst’s 30 minute annihilation didn’t last long. Later, John Schmidt devoured an opponent in 22!
 
Allan Hopkins, altho.’ having one loss, is still alive as he sent Bill Meacham home.
 
Tied 2-2 with young-gun Evan Lunda, Shane’s cue ball was hindered by the newly broken rack. Jacked up by using 2 bridges stacked on top of each other, he slow-rolled the finest cut into the corner. With six balls loose, he had total control of the table. He made only two of them. Lunda continued the execution. Buy back Shane.
 
Matches begin at noon on Accu-Stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at billiardnet.tv, today!
 
The players with the 8 highest runs, tallied from the total entrants, face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.
 
Shot of the Day:
 
Dennis Orcollo has tied Jayson Shaw’s still unbeaten 227, historical, tournament high run.
 
Little did he know, had he beaten it, he would be $1000 richer. Instead, his wealth, by capturing the high run of the day, increased by only $300.
 
At 225, and the balls burst wide open, there were audience asides: “He needs three more to beat it.” At 226, “He needs two more….” Dennis wasn’t quite aware of what they were talking about.
 
So, at 227, focused and confident as always, rather than cinch an easier ball, he unnecessarily attempted to draw a close to the rail cue ball into position. With the additional encumbrance, he jacked up, stroked back and forth a few times…and missed!
 
The good news? He’s definitely qualified for the final 8. 
 
Orcollo, Dennis 227
Chinakhov, Ruslan 182
Fortunski, Miesko 125
Shaw, Jayson 110
Corteza, LeeVan 102
Poteet, Devin 94
DeLuna Jeffery 84
Melling, Chris 84
Archer, Johnny 81
 

Sky Three-Peats Sidepocket Open

Skyler Woodward and Robb Saez

118 players decided to spend their Fourth of July weekend in Shreveport, LA for the Sidepocket Nine Ball Open.
 
Friday night action kicked off with a sixteen man ring 9 ball – $100/man. The players drew into groups of four on four tables. The top two from there went to two tables until two players were eliminated. The final four duked it out with Warren Kiamco taking top honors and $800. Clint Freeman took second and $400, Alex Olinger was third with $250 and Steve Raynes took fourth and $150. Congratulations to all!
 
Saturday began with a noon players auction. Young guns Sky Woodward and Alex Olinger took the two blind bids. Other top players going for big bucks included CJ Wiley, Robb Saez and Warren Kiamco. The draw was completed and play began.
 
The alternate break – race to seven format produced a lot of very close matches but on Sunday afternoon, the cream rose to the top leaving Sky Woodward and Robb Saez playing for the hot seat. Sky prevailed and claimed a berth in the finals while Robb took a seat on the rail waiting for the results of the Chase RudderJerry Calderon match.
 
Calderon was victorious in a 7-6 nailbiter leaving Chase with a very respectable fourth place finish and $700. Calderon and Saez faced off for the other seat in the finals and this one was a close one too! Robb edged Calderon out – again 7-6. Calderon had to settle for $950 and a third place finish.
 
Since this was a true double elimination event, Robb would have to defeat the always tough Sky twice to claim the title. Getting a sniff of the cheese, Sky was having none of it as he cruised to a 7-3 victory and his three-peat!!! Not to mention the $2600 first prize money!!! Congratulations, Sky!!!
 
Robb did his sponsor Arena Billiards proud with his fantastic runner-up finish and receiving $1300 for his efforts. Great job, buddy!!!
 
The Sidepocket Nine Ball Open wouldn’t have been possible without the sponsorship of Mike Roberts of It’s George Tip Tool 3, OB Digicue, Ballistic Billiards and Steve Wells of Action24/7. Thank you!!! Tournament Director Jeff Sullivan (“Sully”) and his able assistant, Ileana Ford, made sure the event ran smoothly. Good job!!! And, as always, thanks to Sidepocket’s owner, Roger Lites, and his fantastic staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans!!!
 
PoolActionTV would also like to thank our sponsors: Diamond Billiard Tables, Lomax Custom Cues, Kamui, John Barton of JB Cases, GoPlayPool.com, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Hanshew Custom Cues, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
 
Our next stop is Houston, TX for the Topwater Memorial One Pocket Championship to be held at Bogie’s Billiards – July 14th-16th. Hope to see you there!!!